Tag Archives: Five Steez

Five Steez sets date for new EP and drops first single as free download

0003286951_10Jamaican hip-hop artist Five Steez follows up on his debut album War For Peace, released in 2012. His new project is an EP titled These Kingston Times. With its eight tracks it’s said in a press release to capture the modern tale of the Jamaican capital.

“I wanted to paint my city the way I see it, and in a way I’ve never heard the story told before in music,” says Five Steez in a press release and continues:

“Since hip-hop’s genesis with DJ Kool Herc, there has always been a Jamaican influence and involvement in the genre, but you’ve never heard about actual life here in ‘yard’, as we affectionately call it. It’s a new perspective in hip-hop, but parallel to that of urban environments worldwide.”

Jamaica is often recognized worldwide for its music, athletes and beautiful beaches, but the country has also developed a reputation of having one of the highest rates of murder and questionable killings by police as well as widespread government corruption. Much of this has historically taken place in Kingston. And these two sides – paradise and slum – are portrayed by Five Steez on These Kingston Times.

The EP drops on October 14, but the first single Deadly off the set is already available, and it’s ready for free download on Bandcamp until the project hits the streets.

Deadly is produced by DJ Crooks, and features a classic hip-hop beat mixed with a vintage reggae sound, a Dennis Brown sample and a signature dancehall chant.

“I had fun with this song because it’s so hip-hop, and it fuses elements from different Jamaican genres so well. I just went in with the flow and, of course, I had to big up people like Heavy D and Chubb Rock, who were also born in Jamaica,” explains Five Steez.

“I’m glad that Five Steez rocked it like he did,” says California-based, Jamaica-born DJ Crooks, and adds:

“It’s hip-hop at its purest, really. This is how we can honour the dynamic nature of the Jamaican music culture, paying respect to reggae and hip-hop at the same time.”


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The Jamaican hip-hop scene is gaining momentum

Five Steez at ManifestoJamaica Festival 2011.

Five Steez at ManifestoJamaica Festival 2011.

Jamaican hip-hop has recently started to get attention with several notable releases from the likes of Five Steez and Nomad Carlos along with some successful events in Kingston.

The scene is still however deeply underground and there are strong forces standing in the way of increasing the presence of hip-hop in Jamaica.

On behalf of United Reggae I interviewed Five Steez, Nomad Carlos and Inztinkz to find out more about the roots of Jamaican hip-hop, its future and why rap artists are feared by the local Jamaican music industry. Check this thorough story here.

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Five Steez represents Jamaican hip-hop in fine style

My first musical love affair was with hip-hop in the early 90’s. I almost wore out my CD’s with Cypress Hill, NWA, Public Enemy and many, many other great hip-hop artists and groups from the east coast to the west coast.

To me the 90’s is the golden era for hip-hop, and that’s why I really enjoy Jamaican MC Five Steez’ debut album War for Peace. This 25 year old Kingstonian has managed to rise through the obscure Jamaican hip-hop scene to tell his story to the world.

The 13 cuts are produced but no less than nine different producers and is loaded with haunting, grim beats, wicked, well-thought samples, looped vocal snippets and socially conscious lyrics. Just listen to the brilliant Propheticz or the up-tempo Rebel Music.

Five Steez isn’t arrogant and doesn’t brag about material obsessions, having the shiniest jewelry or the baddest beamer. He rhymes about overcoming obstacles, exceeding expectations, social issues and struggles of everyday life.

This is a bona fide hip-hop album that draws inspiration from jazz, blues, soul, funk and reggae. The only track that lies close to reggae is the Kabaka Pyramid-produced Blazing. Kabaka Pyramid is also one of five guest artists that take the microphone on War for Peace.

Five Steez is not a deejay or a singjay. He’s an MC in the truest sense. So don’t dismiss him as the odd cousin from the country. He’s part of the hip-hop family. He’s the real deal.

War for Peace is available on CD and digital download.


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